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C is for CSS

C is for CSS: Cascading Style Sheet

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the original and still the fundamental language of the web. It was created to allow the text documents of the early web to be formatted. That is, it was about presentation, not the actual content of web pages. It provided for paragraphs, quotation, headers and the like.

When the design crew got involved, moving from print to the electronic web, they wanted more design. The story goes that web pages became oveloaded with presentational functions and became more and more tedious to prepare and to decipher.

Along came CSS with the object of separating presentation from content (the actual meaning).

What's more the style sheet could be external to a page and work globally over many pages, making it easy to make amendements to a great many pages by changing one style sheet file.

CSS 1 (the first version of CSS in 1996) states its intention thus: CSS1 is a simple style sheet mechanism that allows authors and readers to attach style (e.g. fonts, colors and spacing) to HTML documents. The CSS1 language is human readable and writable, and expresses style in common desktop publishing terminology.

The implication is that if you could understand the terminolgy of DTP you could understand CSS.

Well, in my experience, it is not quite so simple.

CSS is a separate study in itself. Once you have a grasp of HTML you can move on to CSS.

It's certainly the way to go.

There are many web authoring tools that support CSS.

Netscape 7 (that is, the version before the current version which is Netscape 8, or Netscape Browser) comes complete with a web authoring tool called Composer (click here). The address is:

http://browser.netscape.com/ns8/download/archive.jsp

You can also install a CSS editor add on created by Daniel Glazman (click here). Here is the address:

http://cascades.mozdev.org/index.html

You're ready to experiment!

Here's an example of web page design using tables for layout and CSS for formatting - CLICK HERE

Or take the Brighton Quiz by clicking here